By Jo Lam, founder of Orli
Traditional Turkish baths, sweat lodges and Scandinavian saunas that have been around for centuries are all based around inducing sweating to promote circulation and detoxification. Sweating purges the skin of bacteria, dirt, oils and impurities from deep within the pores. The build up of this dirt, if not flushed out regularly can lead to acne and breakouts.
Sweat contains powerful antimicrobials that can fight germs and pathogens. The unique protein secreted by the eccrine sweat gland is called Dermicidin. Dermicidin has been proven to combat a variety of pathogens and plays an important role in supporting immunity.
Sweat contains mainly water, sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. These components benefit the skin in a number of ways. Water hydrates the skin’s surface whilst the salt and minerals help exfoliate the skin naturally.
The highest mineral content in sweat consists of sodium; which explains its salty taste. This process of elimination of salt as well as calcium from the kidneys through sweating reduces the risk of the developing kidney stones. Sweating also encourages more water consumption and this also reduces the likelihood of kidney stones.
Sweat glands play a role in wound healing as discovered by research performed at the University of Michigan. The study found that Eccrine glands contain adult stem cells that play a vital role in recovery of scrapes, burns and ulcers.
Sweating is one of the most effective ways to release the build up of toxins in your body. Traces of various chemical contaminants have been found in sweat; indicating that it is an efficient method of eliminating widespread toxins including BPA.
Workouts that make you sweat are beneficial in managing the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol causes increased sebum production that can lead to acne and skin irritations. Over-production of cortisol can also result in the break down of collagen; which leads to wrinkles and sagging. Exercising on the other hand supports the production of collagen.
It’s worth noting the two types of sweat glands in out body, Eccrine and Apocrine. Eccrine glands produce a watery sweat and cover our whole body but are mostly concentrated on the brow, hands and feet.
Apocrine sweat glands are found in the hair follicles around the scalp, armpits and genitals. Apocrine glands are inactive until puberty and produce a thicker substance that contains fatty acids, urea and ammonia. Bacteria are drawn to this substance and the breakdown of this substance by bacteria is the cause of unwanted body odour.
Therefore, in spite of the benefits of sweating, it’s important to give your skin a good clean as soon as possible after a work out, to prevent the build up of toxins and the bacteria which causes body odour.
Leaving sweat on your skin for too long can also cause a change in pH resulting in rashes and irritation. The impurities that are flushed out from sweating can get re-absorb into the skin if left for too long.
Interestingly, sweating regularly helps decrease body odour. Unpleasant odour is directly related to the amount of toxins in sweat. Regular sweating combined with a clean diet and environment reduces the toxic burden on your body.
This explains why it’s essential to use deodorants instead of antiperspirants, as it’s important to keep your glands unblocked to allow sweating. Over time, regular sweating with a clean lifestyle will result in odourless sweat. Imagine that!
Our top Orli picks for a healthier sweat session
Wildflowers Deodorant Cream by Erica Brooke $39.99 – the all-natural deodorant that moisturises, nourishes and works hard to keep you odour free!
People For Plants Cleanser $26.20 – a rich, creamy natural facial cleanser gentle enough for the most sensitive of skin post workout.
Mokosh Light Face Cream $49.00 – beautifully light, quickly absorbed and packed with anti-oxidants. The perfect replenishing cream after your sweat session.
Orli ‘Eau Well’ $39.99 – a potent organic blend with powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties, that boost immunity and naturally sanitises skin. An ideal post workout scent!